Our local library system here in Sioux Falls, South Dakota put together two backpacks kids are allowed to check out of the library for a week in celebration of the Apollo 11's 50th anniversary. Earlier this year, we had a chance to see the Apollo 11 Documentary at the Omni Theater and it really sparked his interest which is why I put my name on the list for the backpack.
(local news story on the backpack...I really think it's a great idea)
Our turn came up this week and he's had an absolute blast with it. We've been outside each night looking at the moon and other things in the sky with the supplied Orion FunScope. He (age 6) counts down the "time" until it's dark enough to head back out and view some more. Honestly, I've had a blast looking through it with him also (my daughter who is 11 has joined in also) and find it very relaxing. It seems as though I enjoy just about every other "hobby" pertaining to the outdoors, let's add another....and why not, the excitement from him seems worth it. Problem is, the backpack goes back at the end of the week as the waiting list for these is about 25 people deep. (I want to think we put our name on the list back in June)
Now, I know absolutely nothing about telescopes. I've done some google searching for my area, and there aren't really any local clubs, and I believe zero stores locally that have equipment. (tried doing my due diligence for some hands on learning and allow us to see what there is for telescopes) I've done the local facebook marketplace search and only turned up one model....an orion StarBlast II 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope (she is asking aroun 130). The one with the backpack has been fun for him to view the moon with all the charts included, however it seems to go that I find the moon, he comes over to view and bumps it in excitement and we start looking for it again. In about a week and a half I'll be heading to Omaha, NE for a weekend soccer tournament and possibly can expand my search there too.
Ideally, I'd like something a little more portable to where we can head out of town to get away from the light and I'm not looking to break the bank just yet and something not to complicated either that a 6 year old could run with help from dad. (he's one to like to turn some dials and do it himself also). Maybe a little bit bigger/better to allow us to see more stuff than just the moon? Again, no idea on need vs want and brands...so I have no idea what I am looking to spend.....just trying to continue to fan the flames of something he enjoys. Buying used vs new for a first scope?
I'm sure there are other questions I'm missing out on asking, but this is a good starting point I hope.....